It is very hard to configure the PC correctly for the purposes of graphic design, digital illustration or animation works while having some budget constraints. As a graphic designer, I’m into configuring my PCs when I started my career back in 2000, at that time, there were no such glamourous options for the computers as we have today. These days It’s very easy to configure the perfect PC and make it even more powerful to handle heavy tasks like 3D renderings, running Adobe Suite etc.
By having vast variety of components options, you have to configure your computer more intelligently than before. Today we will talk about how we can configure a powerful computer either Mac or Windows as per your creative job requirements. First of all, we will talk about Mac computers, because Macs are easier to configure than windows, even more cheaper, which most of the people don’t know. On the other hand, Windows based computers have more options available than Macs for different configurations but at the same time you have to consider the components conflicts which influence the overall stability of your machine, more than Mac computers.
How Can I Configure My Mac Computer
Old Mac refurbishment process is much easier than its equivalent Windows based computer. The main reason for that, many organizations like HP, Dell, Acer etc. building PCs which are Windows based and they have competition among them and have different architecture among the equivalents. But Mac computer’s only manufacturer is Apple and that is why they have much less room for improvements, but have the specific architecture of its model. Still you can do alot more to make it a real beast.
Why Apple Macs are Easy To Configure
Mac desktops are relatively easy to configure and upgrade to some extent because they have fewer but very specific options. Specific means, there are fewer options of Graphic Cards which you can chose to upgrade your old Mac desktops, but believe me they are powerful and more stable options.
How To Turn Your Old Mac Desktop into a Beast Machine
You can buy Mac Pro 2010 from e-bay to turn that into really a beast machine which can handle almost all 3d renderings, animation or general Graphic design tasks easily. So lets get started.
Change The HDD
When you buy Mac Pro, which I recommend to buy not less than 2009 to 2012 desktops because they are easy to upgrade due to their ability to accept the latest components like hard disks, graphic cards etc. One of the most important component to upgrade is the hard drive. Change the normal HDD with SSD. These days there are many SSD options available which you can buy from Amazon. You should use SSD as your boot drive in your Mac Pro desktop which will help to load ten times faster than normal hard drive.
Change The Graphic Card
The second thing you should change is the graphic card. Usually the Mac Pros 2010 to 2012 launched with 1GB graphic cards which were enough for the usage in those days but they are unable to handle most of the software requirements, especially if your main use is for 3D renderings in Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects or Adobe Premiere There are some hassle free options for GPU upgrade from Apple are
MSI Radeon RX 560 128 bit, SAPPHIRE Radeon PULSE RX 580 8GB. RX 580 is highly recommended for Mac Pro 2010 to 2012 because this graphic card is Metal compatible and you can upgrade your MacOS from Hi-Sierra to Mojave and it also has 8GB memory which handles Cinema 4D renderings and other heavier tasks very well.
Unfortunately, you cannot upgrade Mac Pro 2009-2010 to Catalina. You can also use Nvidia based graphic cards in Mac Pro 2010-2012 and that is NVIDIA Quadro K5000 for Mac but it is difficult to configure Nvidia based cards with Mojave and that is due to most of the NVidia Cuda drivers are availble up to Hi-Sierra.
Tip: Don’t throw your old 1GB graphic card which came with your 2010 or 2012 Mac Pros because they are Mac flashed. It means it shows the boot screen when you start your mac and if you press the option / alt key on your keyboard then it takes you to the boot manager options which you cannot see if you have installed new graphic card like Sapphire Radeon RX 580 purchased from the normal market and that is because normal graphic cards do not have flashed Rom for mac. You can buy Mac flashed graphic cards from macvidcards.com but they are more expensive than its normal version in the market.
You can also upgrade your RAM to 1333 MHz up to 128GB but to upgrade to this extent you have to change your CPU.
Upgrading CPU in Mac Pro 2010
Normally the Dual processor 2010 macs launched with E-5620 processors which you can upgrade to x5690, which is 3.46 GHz, very easily. Normally this processor only comes with Mac Pro 2012 models. This up gradation will allow you to use 1333 MHz Ram rather than 1066 MHz which is a huge plus towards the overall speed of the machine. The difficulty which most of the people face that they are reluctant to do this processor up gradation by themselves. But watching this video, you should be able to upgrade you processors, if still not convinced then, you can take help from a computer technical person or ask to do this for you.
These options for sure will make your old machine a new giant which can handle all your creative tasks almost as smoothly as the New $2800 Macbook pro
How To Configure Your Windows Machine for Graphic Design
Now lets talk about the upgrading the Windows based computer. You can also buy an old computers like HP Z620 which is an excellent Windows based computer option for Graphic Design, animations, 3D modeling, 3D rendering etc. The formula is the same as we applied to the mac computers. Lets talk about how we can upgrade this HP Z620 for the creative purposes.
3 Must Have Windows Based Computer Configurations
First of all get rid of your old hard drive and install SSD as we did in the old Mac desktop. The best SSD you can use for this computer in my opinion is Samsung Evo 860 Pro which is the top best choice in normal SSDs. I can give you speed up to 6GBPS.
You can also use NVMe M.2 SSDs in this computer which will make this machine a really serious 3D rendering machine. You can install NVMe PCIe adapter in your motherboard’s PCIe port and then install Samsung Evo 870 Pro which is much faster than normal SSD, but make sure your system is utilizing the new UEFI platform rather than the old BIOS platform to take full advantage of the latest technology and all of its advantages. In the market almost every SSD is made of 3-bit 3D NAND, the 970 Pro uses the much better 2-bit MLC V-NAND. And there is no doubt about it that it will make your computer much faster than any normal SSD
You can install Nvidia based GPUs in this machine very easily because Windows supports NVIDIA based graphic cards works much better in Windows than Macs.
You can upgrade your RAM up to 380GB of 1600MHz in this particular model.
All of the above specifications are very much affordable as compared to the modern system which are far far expensive, available in the market these days. The results are almost the same. As far as Windows based computers are concerned, if you have more budget, then go for HP Z820.
Whether you have Mac or Windows, you can still upgrade your old mac or old windows based computers up to the professional level you love.